U.N. to call for North Korea accountability on rights abuses

The European Union and Japan have prepared a draft resolution for the Human Rights Council, according to a report.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  March 8, 2016 at 11:11 AM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, March 8 (UPI) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to adopt a North Korea human rights resolution targeting the country's treatment of its people.

North Korea is charged with violations that include summary executions and the rape and torture of political prisoners. According to defectors, the country is also deploying tens of thousands of forced laborers abroad to earn foreign currency for the regime.

The European Union and Japan have prepared a draft resolution, and South Korea is also taking part in the proposal, Yonhap reported.

The draft is to be discussed during the 31st regular session of the Human Rights Council, being held until March 24, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Joon-hyuk confirmed to press.

Japan and the European Union have consistently supported the passage of a North Korea human rights resolution at the annual meeting, and it's expected that the adoption of sweeping economic sanctions at the U.N. Security Council is to provide momentum for a stronger rights resolution against Pyongyang in March.

A Seoul government source who spoke to South Korean media on the condition of anonymity said there are a number of new provisions in the draft, including a call for greater accountability for rights abuses in North Korea and in the area of forced labor deployed overseas.

The resolution in its final form will pass if the majority of the Human Rights Council's 47 members vote in favor of its adoption.

Last week a North Korean envoy said he would boycott the council, and accused the U.N. agency of subscribing to "double standards."

The condemnations are rife with "politicization, selectivity and double standards," Pyongyang's Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong had said, adding defectors have provided false testimonies while being financially supported by the governments of the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Ri has since returned to North Korea, state news agency KCNA reported Tuesday.

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